If you could pick one person in history to be related to, who would it be and why?
Harry Styles. I’d love to be his mother-in-law. Oh wait – he’s not an historical figure yet is he!!! Um…when my grandmother (b. 1905) was about 93 we asked her what the most important change/invention in her life was. We expected her to say electricity or television or man on the moon. She said it was the invention of penicillin because the babies stopped dying. That’s always stuck with me, so I’d say Alexander Fleming because his discovery has saved countless lives – especially the young.
What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?
My still living family members! Walking on the beach and when time permits I’d very much like to get back into playing golf regularly.
How long have you been on WikiTree and what do you spend the most time doing?
I’ve been a member since June 2020 – so not very long in the scheme of things. I’m a member of several projects but most active in the England Project where I’m the co-Project Co-Ordinator for the Orphan Trail. I’m also a team member with the Greeters and Mentors projects and a Team Leader with the Accessibility Angels Project. It keeps me quite busy!
What brought you to WikiTree?
I spent ages trying to work out how and where to document my research. Online, locally on my laptop, in hard copy in folders and notebooks, etc. While I was playing around with all of that and checking out other sites and software, I stumbled across a conflated ancestor on WikiTree, with the problem also repeated on Ancestry and MyHeritage. So, I signed up to resolve that (which I did) and now the rest is history (pardon the pun). And Ancestry and MyHeritage have both been updated which makes me happy.
What is your favorite thing about WikiTree?
The one profile per person thing is my favourite feature – it just can’t be beaten. I like to think of it as the central source of truth.
If you could improve one thing about WikiTree, what would it be?
Having a smarter built-in citation method would be my one thing - without making it too constraining or rigid given there are many types of acceptable sources. Being able to reuse citations/sources across profiles at the click of a button, like we can with Images, would be awesome. And requiring each citation to have some basic elements so we can have some standardisation would be tremendous. Some of the new and wonderful browser extensions help enormously, but formatting and reusing citations across profiles can still be quite tedious ☺
What is an example of how WikiTree has helped you with your genealogy?
The England Project Orphan Trail, in particular, helped me no end when I was getting started. Being in Australia, I would not have had a clue where or how to find digital records about my family in England – or how to cite them or organise my findings – or write a biography of any interest. WikiTree has provided me with a structure to combine multiple types of references (digital, family papers, images, books etc) into a single profile, write a bio and share what I find. I have also loved being able to add to already existing family profiles with new information I’ve discovered and pay that back to the family member who originally created it – that’s very satisfying.
Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?
Read the WikiTree How To Use tutorials. And then read them again! And join a project relevant to your interests or where your ancestors hail from. There’s so much help available from people willing to lend a hand. Don’t try to operate in a bubble and do everything on your own. Being a project member is a great way to learn and find help and pick up tips about how to do things from people who have been here longer. Above all else, we all have something to learn from each other.